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1851 Census of New Brunswick Online

I looked through the pile of magazines that Aunt Ethel brought, in search of recipes that I could write in my new hardcovered scribbler. Next I asked Aunt Sadie and Mum if I could borrow their recipe books to copy some of my favourite ones.

For days, I had been helping Mum with the baking.  I now felt secure enough to try making Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins on my own.

Carefully I measured the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a bowl and mixed them carefully. In another bowl, I whisked eggs, buttermilk and butter and poured into the well in the dry ingredients, carefully folding in the blueberries.

The muffins certainly smelled good while cooking. I was waiting for the look of delight when Cliff bit into one of them. But instead he made a face and spit. I then burst into tears!

Mum placed her arm around my shoulders and suggested we find the recipe in her book and compare it to what I had written.

I don’t know if the cause was “human error” or if I couldn’t read Mum’s writing but I found my mistake. I had written 1/2 cup of baking soda instead of 1/2 teaspoon.

It is much easier to read typed material but errors can be made in transcribing records and often one wishes the originals could be compared but that takes time to go to a research institution and find the microfilm reel and hope a reader is available.

Today, if you want to view the 1851 census for New Brunswick, the pages have been digitized and are available online at the website of the Library and Archives Canada at

There is no surname index so you will search by geographic location. It makes it much easier if you know the ward, parish and county where your ancestor resided. Most of the counties in New Brunswick have been transcribed and indexed so it may be possible for you to find the transcription at a research institution which will give you the “finding facts”. You can choose to then go online to determine if the information was transcribed properly or you can click your way through an area checking any names you stumble upon as you walk along the road where your ancestors lived in 1851.

This census provides personal information as to, Name, Sex, Relationship to Head of Household, Age, Race, Occupation, Date of Entering Colony (when they came to New Brunswick), Sick or Infirm and the last column may contain remarks that the enumerator believed would be relevant.

Much of the actual census-taking did not occur until 1852 since the planning was not completed in time.

Parts of the 1851 census did not survive and therefore no digital images exist.

Information can be found on 31,682 family groups and nearly 194,000 individuals. A total of 2,366 were reported as being "Sick or Infirm".

Computers and the internet have certainly changed the way we do census research. I well remember sitting at a microfilm reader, slowly turning the crank, constantly watching the clock to see when “my time” would be up. Now, I turn on the computer at any hour of the day or night and sit as long as I want to read the pages of the 1851 census at


Query 1497
Dickie: I am looking for any information on the family of Hector Dickie, born 1737 in Northern Ireland, settled in Ninety-Six South Carolina about 1768, served His Majesty George III  in the South Carolina Loyal Militia and as quartermaster to refugees in Charleston and came to New Brunswick (the Norton area) via Jamaica after the war. He died on 5 May 1837 aged 100 in Norton Parish. Anyone have documentation as to his place of burial?  I'm also hoping to confirm or prove false the story that he died from blood poisoning when he stuck himself with a needle his wife left in a sock after darning it. His wife, Sarah, and several of  his children moved to Upper Canada and settled  in the Burford area circa 1837.  I will gladly share what I have on the family with anyone interested.
4 Chalk Lake Road
Port Perry, ON
Canada, L9L 2C5

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Ruby M. Cusack is a genealogy buff living in New Brunswick, Canada. Send your New Brunswick genealogical queries to her at:  Include your name and mailing address for the benefit of the readers of the newspaper who do not have access to E-mail but could have information to share with you. Please put "Query" followed by the surnames in your query. For more information on submitting queries, visit
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